Updated: February 18, 2021 7:15:20 am
Expanding its investigation into the toolkit Google document which Delhi Police claims was meant to tarnish India’s image, probe officers are learnt to be looking into the role of a UK-based member of the NGO Extinction Rebellion or XR, of which Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk are members.
Police have so far arrested Bengaluru-based climate activist Disha Ravi in connection with the toolkit, while Jacob and Muluk have secured transit bail. The toolkit had come under police scanner after Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg tweeted it on February 3, with police claiming the sequence of events in the farmers’ protests, including the violent incidents at Red Fort on Republic Day, was a “copycat” of the alleged action plan in the document.
According to a senior Delhi Police officer, information retrieved from the toolkit suggests that apart from Ravi, Jacob and Muluk, editors of the document include a UK-based member of XR, another from India and a co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation.
“The UK-based member of XR, along with Nikita and Shantanu, drafted content for a ‘Twitter storm’ on February 1. Additions made by her include phrases such as ‘police attacking protesters, many of them injured, missing and dead’,” claimed a senior officer, adding that the woman was still editing the document when Thunberg “accidentally” tweeted it, before taking it down and tweeting a new version some hours later.
Police also claimed that after Thunberg’s initial tweet began to go viral, one of the editors of the toolkit in India took “admin rights” and made some edits, including removing their own name, before sending the Swedish activist a fresh version.
According to police, Puneet, a Canada-based woman from Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), reached out to some India-based members of XR on Instagram in the first week of December. “These activists then created a WhatsApp group called International Farmer’s Strike on December 6. An official email, email@example.com, was created on December 11,” claimed the officer. The WhatsApp group was deleted on February 4, a day after Thunberg’s tweet.
Police further claimed that members of PJF including Mo Dhaliwal and Anita Lal held a Zoom meeting with XR members on January 11. “The same day they announced Global Day of Action on January 26,” said the officer.
Police sources also said they are looking into websites, hyperlinks for which were inserted into the toolkit. “These include a website called http://www.genocidewatch.com which doesn’t talk about farmers’ protest but rather about Kashmir, Khalistan and other issues,” said an officer.
Police also claimed that the editors of the toolkit were using VPN to “hide their digital footprint”. “We have recovered more than 130 GB of data from laptops and an iPhone and are going through it,” said the officer.
The Indian Express reached out to XR for comments but did not receive a response.
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